US reports it has detained 200 juveniles in Afghanistan

[JURIST] The US answered to allegations that it has illegally detained juveniles in a prison in Afghanistan in a recent report [text, DOC] given to the UN Committee on Rights of the Child [advocacy website]. The report was released in response to several inquiries regarding US compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child [text]. In response to an inquiry regarding detention of juveniles, the US claimed that holding the juveniles was not to punish them, but to prevent them from returning to fight. The report cited to Hamdi v. Rumsfeld [text] in justifying this decision. The US also emphasized that it is treating the juvenile detainees in a way that is consistent with the convention. This includes specialized medical attention, potential familial cohabitation and individualized educational, recreational and social activities.

The international community has been monitoring the rights of the child since to convention entered into force in 1990. In July a UN committee condemned [JURIST report] Israel's treatment of child detainees. Last November the UN asked [JURIST report] Syria to respond to inquiries regarding a report dealing with child torture. In November 2008, the US admitted [JURIST report] to the committee that it was detaining 12 juveniles in Guantanamo. This realization came only months after the committee asserted [JURIST report] that military tribunals were not the proper venue for juvenile detainees. In May of that year the Department of Defense confirmed a previous report [JURIST reports] that the US was detaining 2,500 juveniles in Afghanistan.

 

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